- 07 May 2009 | Surfing
Local Tahitian surfer Heiarii Williams will compete against the top 45 surfers on earth this week after taking out the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials at Teahupoo and earning the last remaining wildcard into the Billabong Pro.
Williams, 22, defeated Hawaiian tube specialist Mark Healey and 64 of the most respected tube riders on earth in idyllic 1.5m waves to claim victory for the second time.
His impeccable backside tube riding netted him a near perfect 9.17 in the man on man final, easily defeating Healey who had been a standout through earlier rounds.
“It’s so exciting to get in the main event and surf with all of the world tour boys,” said Williams. “I was the last Tahitian in the event, I needed to win and I did.”
“I saw that wave coming and I knew that wave was going to be good, I got a nine and it pushed me into first place, so I was happy,” he said. “Respect to Mark Healey, he is a good charger, crazy boy at Teahupoo!”
The talented natural footer is regarded as one of the best tube riders at the break alongside fellow Tahitian Manoa Drollet who was eliminated in round four of the trials. He has proven himself a dangerous opponent in the Billabong Pro main event having eliminated Mick Fanning in round one of the event in 2006, before narrowly losing out to reigning world champion Kelly Slater in round three.
“I won the trials in 2006, and I am excited for the main event, I will try hard to do my best and I want to catch some great waves,” said Williams.
It is likely as the lowest seeded Wildcard, Williams may face current world number one Joel Parkinson in the second round when the Billabong Pro kicks off on Saturday. Under the new ASP seeding system, Parkinson will forego the sudden death first round and be seeded directly into round two. Having won the opening two events of the year, he admits he won’t be taking any wildcard lightly.
“The local Tahitians know it better than anyone, I have been watching a few heats and taking a few points out of it to use in my own strategy,” said Parkinson. “I have been enjoying my time here before the trials and I’m feeling ready.”
For Healey, 31, the second place result was his best ever at the trials having competed in the event seven times. The stocky goofy footer looked to have Williams’s number on the way to the final, winning through round four, quarters and the semis in fine style.
With the swell fading in the final and his Tahitian opponent holding a commanding lead, Healey could only wait for the ocean to deliver the waves capable of finding the scores he needed. At the heats end he still held priority with the surf failing to materialise.
“I’m happy that I made the final, I just wish I would have had a stronger heat and got some waves,” said Healey. “The way I look at it is that there are 64 guys that are amazing surfers in this event and to make the top two is insane.”
“I knew it was going to be a tough heat when I saw his semi, he picked up a huge score without priority and he did exactly the same thing to me,” said Healey. “He has got a really good connection to this place, and you have to get really good waves to be better than him out here.”
- 06 May 2009 | Surfing
Lindsay Lohan scored a few waves, last week, in the Island of Maui, in Hawaii.
The 22-year-old Hollywood actress showed off her surfing skils, after breaking up with DJ Samantha Ronson.
She proved she can take off in a longboard/SUP, althought she is skinnier than ever.
Lindsay Dee Lohan was born on the 2nd July 1986, in New York City, and also works as a model and pop singer.
- 06 May 2009 | Surfing
With one wildcard spot up for grabs for next weeks Billabong Pro Tahiti, 32 international surfers have matched up against 32 Tahitians on day one of the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials at Teahupoo.
In clean 1.5-2m waves, it was the overseas challengers who dominated opening day proceedings as competition moved from round one, through to heat four of round three.
Former world tour competitor Bruce Irons (HAW) showed why he is regarded as one of the most dangerous surfers at Teahupoo by winning through two trials heats and booking a spot in the third round. (the final four heats of round three are yet to be surfed)
Having not surfed a competitive heat since 2008, Irons grabbed a last ditch tube ride in his second round heat to scrape through behind proven Teahupoo specialist Damien Wills (AUS). Eliminated from the heat were Tahitian duo David Dandois and Heifara Tahutini.
“I haven’t surfed a heat for seven months, the first time since high school I ‘ve had that sort of break, but watching Bells and Snapper over the internet made me want to pull a rash vest on again,” said Irons. “Every time I came here to surf the main event the trials were pumping, so I figured I’d quit the tour and come do the trials, hasn’t really worked out that way yet though.”
“It was really slow out there, but Tahiti’s always nice to get away to, so I’m not complaining.”
He will now face Nick Vasicek (AUS) Niuhi Marere (PYF) and Heremoana Luciani (PYF) in round three. Should he win the trials, he will surf alongside Brother Andy, who has been given a direct wildcard into the main event.
Fellow Hawaiian Mark Healey was another standout performer on the opening day, winning through three rounds to progress into the final 16 surfers. A perfect display of small wave tube riding in his round three heat saw him take an impressive victory over live-wire goofy footer Clay Marzo (HAW), eliminating Tahitian surfers Steven Pierson and Germain Tuataa.
Hawaiian surfers excelled on day one of the VonZipper Trials, with six surfers still in contention for the wildcard slot into the Billabong Pro. Joining Irons, Marzo and Healey to progress were Kamalei Alexander, Reef McIntosh and Kalani Chapman.
Australian surfers also fared well on the opening day with the Sunshine Coast duo of Wade Goodall and Mark Visser both winning their round three match-ups.
The 2008 trials at Teahupoo left Goodall with 8 staples in his head after a nasty encounter with the reef, but his opening day in 2009 proved friendlier, winning through three heats in fine style.